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School district violated Civil Rights Act

In New Mexico and across the country, issues sparking racial tension are by no means a thing of the past. In fact, such issues continue to be problematic in many areas in society, especially the workplace and in a number of schools. One school, in particular, which is located in another state, recently received a citation for violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 after a former student and Civil Rights advocate filed a complaint.  

The woman who filed the complaint was hoping the court would order a particular high school to do away with its mascot, which is a cartoon figure of a Confederate that represents the name of the school’s team, the Rebels. The complaint also stated that there is an ongoing problem of racism in the school, including several incidents where groups of students used a racially charged word against another group of students. School district officials became aware of the problem, but, reportedly, no one did anything about it.  

Rebel logo may stay, but other things need to change 

The State Department of Education Office for Civil Rights conducted a year-long investigation with regard to the woman’s complaint. The department interviewed students, faculty and others and determined that the school was in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, state officials said they found zero evidence that the school’s mascot had incited any type of violence or racism in the school; therefore, the school does not have to change its mascot.  

Laws protect New Mexico residents against discrimination 

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to discriminate against a person in the workplace, at school, etc., particularly based on race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion or other categories of identification. If a person believes someone has violated his or her Civil Rights, it is a good idea to discuss the matter with an attorney who is experienced in this type of litigation. If the court rules in a plaintiff’s favor, the judge may order a defendant to pay compensation for damages.